"Pressing Vinyl"


Take a few minutes and watch this video regarding the making of LP's from PS Audio September newsletter. Somewhat interesting.
http://vp.nyt.com/video/2015/09/21/34917_1_vinyl-manufacturing_wg_360p.mp4
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The dude says "...it's nothing to me. It's just a record." I hope I never buy one he stamped!
Being in manufacturing all my life I can truly say I'm concerned. The demand and profit are there. (I know I'm paying at least $30.00 for one LP + shipping) Why no new equipment or processes? I would believe capital would be available from investors interested in a fair ROI. Or is it not 'glamorous enough' or not a 'DOT COM' business creating nothing really tangible you can put your hands upon? Kind of sad when the plant manager has no interest, as Abucktwoeighty noted......
Query :

Why do you want "New" recordings on vinyl ?
If I am reading correctly , all of the new stuff is developed in the digital realm and then 'converted' to analog . This digitization & conversion affects the aspects that we love about the original analog/vinyl sound . It's about the processing , isn't it ?
I think the comment by the plant manager is really a reflection of the fact that it is a fairly old tech manufacturing business, and as the video suggested, lots of variables to keep all that stuff humming optimally. I don't care that he doesn't give a poop about the music, as long as the records are well made. We can leave the creative stuff to the artists, engineers and producers. I do find it fascinating that these old presses can be refurbished and returned to service. As to investment in new presses, I don't know, but imagine the tooling costs would be considerable, and it seems that a lot of people are concerned that once the 'fad' aspect of the vinyl bubble bursts, we'll be back to far lower volume, audiophile stuff, the odd release by a new band, etc. I don't buy many new records, and of the 'mass market' stuff I do buy, whether pressed in the US or EU, I've certainly had issues. (I'm not talking about the fancier pressings of the type you get from Chad or Mo-Fi, and even some of the big labels are using Chad now for some stuff, e.g. if memory serves, the Hendrix Legacy AYE was pressed at QRP).
Saki70
Query :
Why do you want "New" recordings on vinyl ?
If I am reading correctly , all of the new stuff is developed in the digital realm and then 'converted' to analog . This digitization & conversion affects the aspects that we love about the original analog/vinyl sound . It's about the processing , isn't it ?

Of course it has to start with a good quality digital master. It may come from the original analogue tapes or digital sources, but the record pressing process is giving us the vinyl sound (not quite the same as the vinyl we grew up with). It's never converted back to analogue; a hi-rez digital file is used to cut the record.
As long as there is a qualified operator cutting the record and virgin vinyl is being used, and the machine is up to spec it is possible to produce a good sounding LP these days.
And then once you put the LP into your home analogue chain, the colourations are what makes listening to vinyl special.

Although, there seems to be only a few record plants capable of succeeding. But some of these new pressings are very enjoyable to listen to.
Lowrider57 ;

"Of course it has to start with a good quality digital master. It may come from the original analogue tapes"

An analog-to-digital conversion ?

"(not quite the same as the vinyl we grew up with)."

I agree .

"It's never converted back to analogue, except for the fact that vinyl is an analogue medium; a hi-rez digital file is used to cut the record."

I was not aware of this fact , interesting .
I would like to see a video on Mofi's plant, I would hope the practices and passion of manufacturing "Original Master Recordings" are better than that of a plant manager, whom has zero interest in the product. Just my two cents! Cheers.
I don't think MoFi owns its own pressing plant. The original ones were done, as you no doubt know, by JVC in Japan. I think they owned a US plant briefly in the '90s, before they went bankrupt. Now that Music Direct owns them, and rebooted the brand, I suspect they use the usual suspects. Correct me if wrong. I have a few 'new' MoFi, and can look.
I would guess MOFI either owns its own plant or uses no more than 2 plants to press their records to exacting specs. The vinyl from MOFI is just too similar in every pressing in weight, touch, feel and playback clarity for it to come from many plants.
Saki70, there is still analog tape in production and there are still studios with analog tape. All three of our LPs that my band has made were recorded analog and the master tapes were used to make the LP.

Whart, I think it would be risky to assume that the current LP status is a bubble. The year of least LP production was 1993 and its been on the rise ever since! One recont contribution to LP sales has been that the CD is dying and the labels want something to sell. So far they've not come up with a good internet model, which is why Apple and others have jumped into the fray. But the LP is still around for a simple reason: they sound better ('better' = more detail, smoother sound). Additionally they allow for better presentation of the artwork so if you want to present an album concept, you are far better off as an artist to do it on LP.
Ralph: I'm happy about the resurgence and the resulting renassiance in the art of making records. I hope it does continue, but I do think there is a degree of 'fashion' to all of this right now that may not be enduring. I'm OK with that too. I hung in there during the nadir, and probably bought more records after The Death of Vinyl (TM) than before, when it was a mainstream medium. Most of my record buying in the past 10 years has been older stuff, filling in gaps, but I do buy some new material (not so much reissues, but sometimes). As I said, I hope you are right, and I am wrong. Even if it is a bubble, I think there have been benefits to revitalizing what was becoming a lost art.
In this town, for the last 15 years if you were really arrived as a band, you put out vinyl rather than a CD. Its that way in a lot of bigger metro areas these days.

Kids drive the market, not us fuddy-duddies :)
Precisely. And when the Lumber sexuals decide craft made beer and vinyls are out, where to next? :)
Atmasphere ;

I remember that , back in the day , CD's used to have different designations AAD , ADD & DDD denoting the analog and digital processing involved . This was printed on the back of the jacket .
Is there some type of designation for the all analog process ?
Whart,

MoFi records are pressed at RTI in California. Not sure if they use more than one plant. But I do know the wait time for many reissues is often absurd, which could be a function of both using RTI exclusively for quality consistency and having limited mastering equipment capability as new projects go underway.
Act- RTI for sure; don't know if they used any others. I was addressing an earlier post that suggested MoFi had its own pressing plant. I don't buy many remasters or "audiophile" records these days, but of the 'new' MoFi's I have, the quality is good and pretty consistent. That old MoFi vinyl formulation that JVC used was really as good as it got; I rarely listen to them because of the EQ (those I bought many of back in the day b/c it was one of the few "audiophile" labels that had rock music as opposed to sonic wallpaper). I know the delays were one reason Chad decided to go his own way. His stuff has been pretty good too, though, again, my experience is limited- I have some of his older stuff pressed on RTI (test pressings) that are great!